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Nursing regulator to look at wider context when investigating FtP cases

New approaches should consider cause of incidents rather than individual blame, says NMC

New approaches should consider cause of safety incidents rather than individual blame, says NMC

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) wants to to take a new approach to identify the circumstances that lead to safety incidents when making decisions about registrants.

At its meeting on 29 January, the NMCs governing council will discuss the need for new methods to identify and consider the context of incidents in Fitness to Practise (FtP) cases.

We need new tools to gather information about context, and a new framework to help factor in context information throughout our proceedings, the meeting agenda reads.

It says that while the regulator already takes circumstances into account in FtP cases, it needs new methods to reflect this better.

Wider context will strengthen the decision-making process

The NMC launched a new approach

New approaches should consider cause of safety incidents rather than individual blame, says NMC


Picture: Charles Milligan

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) wants to to take a new approach to identify the circumstances that lead to safety incidents when making decisions about registrants.

At its meeting on 29 January, the NMC’s governing council will discuss the need for new methods to identify and consider the context of incidents in Fitness to Practise (FtP) cases.

‘We need new tools to gather information about context, and a new framework to help factor in context information throughout our proceedings,’ the meeting agenda reads.

It says that while the regulator already takes circumstances into account in FtP cases, it needs new methods to reflect this better.

Wider context will strengthen the decision-making process

The NMC launched a new approach to FtP in July 2018, aiming to ensure that wider working conditions, such as understaffing, are considered.


NMC director of Fitness to Practise 
Matthew McClelland

The NMC agenda says that blaming individual registrants for safety incidents will not necessarily prevent issues from arising again.

The regulator is also exploring how and when to share information with other bodies to ensure patient safety.

NMC director of Fitness to Practise Matthew McClelland said the regulator wanted to capture the root causes that lead to nursing and midwifery referrals.

‘That way, factors relating to the working environment – and other barriers that may prevent staff from safely performing their role – can be identified more effectively and shared more widely,’ he said.

‘In a world where we know very few people get out of bed in the morning to go and do a bad job providing the care they’re trained in, we believe these new ways of working are important steps in ensuring our decision-making is fair and proportionate, encouraging openness and learning when mistakes happen and influencing better, safer care for the future.’


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